Cameron population drops 30% in the last 10 years - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cameron population drops 30% in the last 10 years

By Crystal Price - bio | email

CAMERON, LA (KPLC) - The 2010 Census Results for Cameron Parish reveal a sharp decline in population numbers from the years 2000-2010.

The population in Cameron Parish dropped from 9,991 people in 2000 to 6,839 people in the 2010 Census. The report reveals a 30 percent population decline for the southwestern Louisiana parish in the last 10 years.

The largest factor in the population decline is due to the wrath of two hurricanes within the past 10 years - Hurricane Rita and Ike.

The districts along the coast within Cameron Parish saw the strongest decline in population as more residents moved northward after the hurricanes.

Parish administrators said the cost of flood and wind insurance is keeping some former residents from moving back to Cameron Parish.

"The foundation requirements for people to come back to Cameron Parish is very expensive," said Tina Horn, the parish administrator for Cameron Parish. "The foundation on your home is probably going to cost a third of the cost of your home."

More than 350 residents are waiting for assistance from the state to be able to reconstruct, according to the Cameron Parish Housing Assistance Office. The department is waiting for the state to assist them with $677,840 to assist residents in reconstructing their homes.

Thaunia Hardie is a business owner in Cameron who is waiting for assistance in reconstructing her restaurant in Cameron. Hardie said she cannot rebuild without help in paying for the insurance.

"The insurance companies since we've elevated up in the air have increased some people's insurance three to four times the rates they were paying," said Hardie.

Parish officials do not believe it will be long before the money will be dispersed out to the residents. Horn said the census simply came at a bad time following the hurricanes.

"Had we been given more years, I think we could have boosted those numbers in the population," said Horn. "I am very optimistic that people will return."

For more information on the 2010 Census Report on Cameron Parish, click on 2010 Census Results to the right.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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